Discrimination and Harassment

Discrimination and harassment claims often increase in a down economy. Learn the proper techniques for conducing proper workplace harassment investigations, providing sexual harassment training, and more to reduce claims of employment discrimination and preventing sexual harassment in the workplace.

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If you're facing an employment lawsuit, don't bother probing into the employee's immigration status during the lawsuit's discovery phase. The EEOC has long held that immigration status is irrelevant to any underlying discrimination claims, and a recent federal court ruling supports that stance ...

If an employee is suffering from performance problems and wants a transfer to another supervisor or position, be careful which details in the person’s history you share with the new manager. That’s especially true if the employee has a history of filing legal complaints ...

Courts view interns the same as employees: as “agents” of your organization. So should you. If you use interns or plan to, advise supervisors to manage them as closely as employees, if not more so. And apply your workplace policies to them ...

Q. If we’re sued for age discrimination, is the potential award limited to lost wages and benefits? Or can a court also award damages like pain and suffering? —D.B., Nebraska

Q. Are there any specific rules defining “early out” retirement packages offered to employees? Our company is planning to offer early outs. Our criteria mandate that an employee must have worked 15 years and be at least 50 years old. But we have employees who have worked as long as 28 years, but fail to meet the 50-year-old criterion. Is this age discrimination in a reverse sort of way? —T.G., Florida

Q. We're afraid that one of our employees may have been subjected to discriminatory behavior. But she hasn't filed a complaint. What should we do? Do we have an obligation to bring it up and investigate even if she declines? —S.P., Louisiana

Q. I know that the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) requires that I provide an employee who has been discharged as part of a “group” termination at least 45 days to consider the terms of a release waiving his or her rights under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). How many employees constitute a “group”? —N.W., Pennsylvania

The mantra in real estate is "location, location, location." But the mantra in employee discipline must always be "consistency, consistency, consistency" ...

Because of a quirk in Pennsylvania law, employers may soon see an uptick in state-based employment lawsuits. Reason: A federal court clarified that all state employment claims must be filed within the appropriate state statute of limitations (one year, for example, on defamation cases). Employees can't wait to file a state claim until the EEOC or the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission completes its investigation, the court said ...

If you receive an EEOC or PHRC complaint, don't jump the gun to answer the charges. Carefully inspect the documents. If you don't question obvious problems now, such as lack of a verified signature, you lose the right to raise that issue later ...

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